Five Steps To Improve Sales of Your Real Estate Properties and Services

First impressions matter. That is the harsh reality when it comes to successfully selling real estate. Today more than ever that first impression is made on-screen vs. in-person. The difference between you selling or not selling real estate or related services you may provide could come down to a mere digital picture.

Whether you are a real estate agent, a home builder, an interior or exterior designer, a general contractor, or a homeowner, your number one initial selling point in today's digital age is the digital pictures you upload for potential buyers. With today's advanced technology, there are no excuses to skimp on property photography.

While this may seem obvious, the reality is there are still plenty of examples of online photos where clearly so little effort is placed into the photography. More often than not, this is the reason your property or services sell for less than they otherwise should, or simply do not sell at all. Why leave money on the table?

For these reasons, it is critical that you make the relatively small investment in a quality photography process to ensure your real estate property and related services are appreciated by potential buyers, and are ultimately sold faster and at a higher price.

Here are five real estate photography tips that can potentially help you accomplish these goals.

Go Beyond the Camera Phone

Yes, phone cameras have made great strides in recent years, so in a pinch this may be a cheap and convenient fall-back solution for your thinnest-margin jobs. But for mid-tier and higher-end work, there is simply no substitute for owning the best camera and lenses you can afford, and learning how to use them. Importantly, you also will need to invest in a computer and software to make good photography great. This topic is discussed in more detail using this link.

Focus, Daniel-san

Believe it or not, there's a lot more that goes into taking a professional photograph than just hitting the auto-focus and clicking the shutter button. Any real estate photographer worth his or her salt will first evaluate a number of factors, including what should be the focus and objective of the picture. Another is what camera settings and lighting will best position the camera to optimize that particular shot? You should take the time to repeatedly and properly adjust aperture, ISO, and exposure for the point of focus. This can be as large as an entire building exterior including its background scenery, to as small as a specific item within a small interior space. A good tripod is also very helpful to set up and frame the picture you want while reducing camera shake (even if using lenses with built-in vibration compensation). This also will greatly help to optimize the crispness of every photo from the shoot.

Step Into the Light

It is important to take all real estate pictures in proper lighting. For exterior photos, avoid taking photos into direct sunlight or else you can experience a variety of problems that are hard or impossible to fix even in post-processing. Don't be afraid to use your external flash outdoors if necessary to offset and balance shadows cast from your surroundings. Sometimes you may also want to go for more mood lighting and shoot a property at dusk with the inside and outside lights turned on for effect. If this is the case, make sure to adjust your ISO settings to allow more natural light into the camera while also minimizing picture noise.

For interior photos, use a mix of external on-camera flash, light diffusers, and remote-controlled speedlights to optimize light in the room. That said, the best interior light is often sunlight, so be sure to do your interior shoots in broad daylight and rely on artificial light when necessary. While it is common practice to automatically turn on all interior lights during a shoot, you should factor in the quality and color of interior lights and decide whether they add or detract from the photo, based on your objectives.

Fix Your Verticals

Amazingly, there are many photos still posted online that are not fixed for natural distortions caused by (for example) wide-angled lens. As a result, you often get walls, windows, and other edges in the room that are crooked when they should be vertically straight. In photography-speak, this is known as "converged verticals."

The following two photos of a beautiful bathroom are exactly the same in all respects, except the first has converged verticals. The converged verticals in the second photo have been fixed in post-processing in Adobe Lightroom. Clearly, the second photo looks a lot more professional and attractive to the viewer's eye, whereas the first almost feels like the walls are going to collapse in on the room. Which bathroom would you rather buy?

Photo #1: Converged Verticals:

Photo #2: Converged Verticals Have Been Fixed:

Take the Day Off and Hire a Professional

All of the above points are important requirements for conducting a proper real estate photo shoot on your own. After reading this, you may also decide the best use of your time and money is to outsource the photography process completely. This is where Matthew D'Alto Photography & Design can help.

Depending on the scope, size, and location of a real estate photography project, you can typically expect to spend anywhere between $200-$2000 on professional photography for a project.

For larger, higher-end and higher-priced properties, you should expect (and want) to invest more in a photographer who has fewer jobs and can dedicate a more appropriate amount of time to properly photograph it. If you buy fast and cheap, your photos may reflect this haste. You should always balance the cost of the photography versus the quality and attention required to make a given property or service sell and for the highest price possible.

Remember, first impressions matter. Even the best house and workmanship in a highly desired neighborhood can be significantly compromised by sub-par photography. Lower-quality photos can make a potential buyer simply skip over your real estate property or service without a second thought; while a high-quality photography can make a skeptical buyer want inquire and see more. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, make the right decision and invest in good photography that sells itself. If you do it right, the return on your photography investment should pay for itself many multiple times over.

Matthew D'Alto Photography & Design specializes in photographing interior and exterior real estate, property, equipment, products, and construction for both local and out-of-state companies doing business or conducting projects within its primary market in the Connecticut towns and cities of Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Fairfield, Wilton, Stamford, Greenwich, Ridgefield, Weston, and Easton; and also (when time permits) within its secondary market within the greater Connecticut area as well as parts of southeastern New York State.

Matthew D'Alto Photography & Design owns a variety of professional-grade camera equipment and software designed to produce high-resolution, high dynamic-range photographs in a wide range of artificial and natural light settings -- quality which simply cannot be replicated on today's best camera phones or even with lower-end DSLR cameras and lenses.

Importantly, every photograph is individually and properly edited, including adjustments to optimize light, color, shadows, sharpness, and picture noise. All photos are further adjusted to fix all "converged verticals" in a room to ensure wall and angle distortions created by wide-angle lens have been minimized. All of this meticulous photographic editing and inspection is done in-house, and is never outsourced, batched, nor mass-produced. Lastly, private online galleries are provided to all clients so they can conveniently view and download their digital photo files in the file format and quality of their choice.

For a free photography estimate of your real estate, interior design, product, or general construction projects, send an e-mail to photos@dfspartners.com, or call anytime at 646-221-2482 and leave a voicemail if we are working and not available to take your call immediately.

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